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Biggest Snow of the Young 21st Century

It hasn't snowed like this since the 1990s. Tony tells the tale of the "storm of the decade".

Snowstorm of the Decade

We waited until the last 13 days of the decade, but when it came, it did so in spectacular fashion thru Logan, Mingo, Fayette, Raleigh, Nicholas and Pike Counties. The snowstorm of the decade was here.

The storm’s arrival was announced by big wet snowflakes with reports of silver dollar sized flakes from among others, Joe Kinzer of Pikeville. Initially those flakes melted slower at ground level than they fell. That’s a fancy way of saying a slushy evening coat of snow layed down.

Reports of jack-knifed tractor trailers on I-77 (WV turnpike) and spin outs on Corridor G and Route 52 near Horsepen mountain in Mingo County confirmed the slush was to be reckoned with.

By late evening, heavy wet snow was accumulating area-wide first on grass and cars and then in time on roads and sidewalks. With snow falling at the rate of an inch an hour at times, we expected a broad area of 6 accumulations by Saturday afternoon when the steadier snow will shift to the northeast.

Our main concern as of 1AM focused on likely power outs thru Southeast Kentucky and Southern and Eastern WV where accumulations of 10 inches in the valleys and 20 inches on the mountain peaks seemed likely.

Humor me now! If our forecasted accumulations are on target, they may supplant the 6” to 9” snowfall of Saturday January 19, 2002 as the heaviest of the decade for most.

Some might say this snow is earning the "storm of the decade" moniker more by default than on merit. After all, in the 1990s 3 terrific snowstorms including 2 blizzards buried our region.

The Blizzard of 93 struck on SEC tourney weekend. Pitino's Cats won at Rupp while Huntington measured its deepest snow ever, 22.5" as I recall.

The next winter, back to back crippling snowstorms buried the region Martin Luther King weekend. When the coldest weather of the 20th century followed, you had THE NUMBER 1 IMPACTING WEATHER EVENT IN MY 22 YEARS AT WSAZ in January 1994.

Two years later another red-blooded Appalachain Blizzard dumped up to 2 feet of snow in Charleston paving the way for the city's snowiest year on record (106.5" fell that Siberian winter).

So take heart, this weekend's 6"-12" of snow assuming it occurs will be a pussycat to the thrilling storms of yester-year!
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